October 2

Creative Space – After (Part 8)

Posted by lori . 5 Comments


Last Sunday, I set myself a challenge…work on my creative space for 1 hour every day for a week.  When I made this room my “creative space,” I gathered all my crafting and writing things into the room.  I made good progress getting things organized, but there were odd bits and bobs that I never found a home for, and then I added some new treasures to the piles.  Last week, I found myself looking at a mess with no idea where to begin and very little motivation to “dig in.”  So, I cleared the room of all the items that had no home and decided to set a timer and work on the piles for 1 hour a day to see if that would help me out.  Cleaning and organizing to a timer is a technique that is encouraged in a lot of organizing books.  I’d never tried it, but I decided to see if it would help me with this particular problem.  Here’s what I found:

1.  My goal was to work for 1 hour a day.  I broke that in to two 30 minute sessions.  I did this for two reasons:  (1) I knew I would spent the first few organizing sessions not really knowing what to do.  I figured spending 30 minutes not knowing what to do would be better than spending an hour not knowing what to do, (2) I knew that even if I didn’t want to do it, I could convince myself to “muscle through” just 30 minutes.

2.  I made myself stop when the timer went off.  Then, I spent a few minutes (only a few minutes) putting away any remaining items.  Most sessions, I wanted to keep working after the timer went off.  By stopping, I didn’t burn myself out and my desire to keep working seemed to transfer to my enthusiasm to start the next session.

3.  During my first few sessions, I spent a lot of time feeling confused and overwhelmed, and I didn’t get a tremendous amount of work done.  I didn’t let that bother me because I found that in between sessions, my mind kept working to find solutions and to plan what was coming next.  With every session, I found myself becoming more and more productive.

4.  If I found items needed a container and I didn’t have an empty one, I found a temporary solution like a box or a bag.  Whatever you do, don’t start piles.  I also kept a pad of paper in the room to write down things I need to buy and any ideas I thought of.

5.  I tried hard not to become obsessed with finding the “right and proper” spot for everything.  I found the best place for the moment, knowing that I could rearrange things when a better solution became apparent.

The verdict:  I’m a new devotee to using a timer to tackle cleaning and organizing projects.  If you’re like me and easily overwhelmed by messes, the timer method is a real help in making a project do-able and giving you a sense of accomplishment.  The timer is my new best friend.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 3:00 am and is filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to " Creative Space – After (Part 8)"

  • houndstooth says:

    I love this idea! And could you please come and tell my husband that rule about NOT starting piles?! Oh, that drives me past the brink of insanity!

  • Ellen says:

    I’ve been replaced by a “timer”??? ;-O lol, sounds like a great idea!

  • Tooki says:

    I think I will buy myself a timer…very good advice. I have not finished moving my things from old apt to new apt. Almost a year now……..

    • lori says:

      I can certainly relate to that! Sometimes I’ll look at something around the house that’s out of place and try to remember when I put it there. The answer usually isn’t pretty and often involves many months. Sad thing is, it doesn’t bother me at all. Maybe that’s a good thing.

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